There is virtually nothing worse for a parent than learning their child has been seriously injured or killed in an accident. Far too often, children are the unfortunate victims of car accidents in Missouri, and throughout the U.S. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death in the nation for children. A child injured in an auto accident in Missouri or Illinois due to the actions of another party has the right to obtain justice and compensation.
At The Cagle Law Firm, our St. Louis car accident lawyers understand the devastation caused auto accidents injuring children. We do not believe that you should have to pay for the costs associated with someone else’s negligence concerning your child. Our team can help you obtain the compensation your child deserves to cover your expenses, medical and otherwise, and any other losses you incurred.
To arrange a free case evaluation, call us today at (314) 276-1681 or use our convenient contact form.
Increased Dangers for Children in Automobiles
Child passengers are far more susceptible to incurring severe injuries than adult passengers. Even with laws in place to protect children riding as passengers, the most common reason for fatalities in children below the age of 15 is unintentional injury – and car accidents are the most common cause of unintentional injury.
Children can suffer injuries resulting from their interaction with motor vehicles in several ways. These include the dangers of leaving a child in a car and various traffic and non-traffic related accidents.
Non-Traffic-Related Auto Accidents
A child may sustain injuries in or around a car without the involvement of traffic as a factor or cause. These occurrences can include:
- Accidental Back over and Run over
A child may be run over (in a driveway for instance) due to poor visibility or lack of care by the driver to check before backing out or pulling forward.
- Car Windows
Car windows can significantly hurt a child if their neck, fingers, hands, or arms are sticking out of the window while it is closing. Although some vehicles have safety features to prevent this, these accidents still occur far too often – and in the worst-case scenario, a child may choke before being noticed.
- Brake shift interlock failure
When the safety device that prevents cars from being put into gear until the brake pedal is depressed fails, children can be injured in an unexpected impact.
Children sometimes become injured by playing in and around the vehicle’s trunk and becoming trapped inside, unable to escape.
Traffic-Related Car Accidents
Automobile crashes are a major cause of injury among children. A child injured in an auto accident may suffer devastating injuries due to one of the following scenarios:
- Impact Causing Brain Injury
Even a light impact car crash can cause an improperly restrained child to suffer disabilities such as speech or paralysis problems due to brain injury.
- Impact Causing Neck or Spinal Cord Injuries
Children may suffer whiplash or spinal cord injuries from the force of impact upon the head or neck that occurs in a collision.
- Seat Belt Defects
Defective seat belts that do not adjust to the size of a small child or are not designed to work well with the actual child safety seat, which can leave a child injured due to the lack of proper restraint.
- Faulty Air Bag Deployment
The sudden and unexpected deployment of an airbag or the failure of an airbag to deploy can produce serious injury for child passengers; to the face, neck and other parts of the body.
- Defective Child Car Seats
While many issues arise due to the improper installation of car seats, a significant percentage of child car seats throughout the years have proven to be defective. Some of them have had poor design, inadequate construction, or manufacturing flaws. These defects can lead to the serious injuries or fatalities in the event of a crash.
- Seatback Failure
The poor design or manufacture of a seatback can cause it to collapse upon impact, leading to devastating injury or even a child’s death.
- Vehicle Design Defects
Defective tires, brakes, transmissions, or rear windows that are not large enough to obtain a proper view are some of the defective products that can result in a child being injured in an auto accident.
Compensation for Child Injuries Due to a Car Related Incident
You and your child may have a legal right to receive compensation for injuries sustained in any accident involving a vehicle. This holds true whenever the child is not at fault in incidents involving:
- Collisions caused by another driver
- School bus crashes
- Crashes caused by an intoxicated driver with the child is a passenger
- Hit and run collisions
- Crashes or other types of accidents due to vehicle defects
The types of damages recoverable due to the injury of your child in an auto accident include:
- Future expected wage loss
- Medical bills (past, present, and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
There are unique challenges to demonstrating liability in scenarios with a child injured in an auto accident. Children, especially younger children, do not always have the communication skills required to assist legal investigations. Therefore, it is vital for the attorney for the parent(s) and the child to take prompt action to secure important evidence and reconstruct the accident scene. Depending on their age, children are not always competent to testify under oath in court; therefore, testimony and statements from minors may adhere to special rules.
Dealing With the Insurance Company
Regardless of how insurance companies may present themselves to you in the wake of your child’s injury, it’s important to understand that these insurers have interests and bottom lines to protect. Doing what’s best for your child is not their primary concern.
Your focus, on the other hand, will exclusively be on your child’s welfare and recovery. You want to make sure you and your family receive the financial compensation you need in the form of lost wages and earning potential, medical expenses, disability coverage, and pain and suffering. An experienced Missouri auto accident child injury attorney can help you obtain a fair recovery through effective negotiation, and if necessary a lawsuit to secure the compensation, you and your child are owed.
Get Legal Help From a Child St. Louis Car Crash Attorney
At The Cagle Law Firm, we vigorously pursue the compensation our clients deserve due to injuries caused by another party. If you have a child injured in an auto accident because of another driver or party’s negligence, we can help. Our team will fight for the financial recovery you need to properly compensate you and your family as well as for paying for your child’s medical care and recuperation.
Call The Cagle Law Firm today at (314) 276-1681 or use our contact form to request a free, initial consultation about your case.